THE IMPORTANCE OF GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE – 05/05/2019
Some recent cases in the national press have caused plenty of debate and controversy on Facebook, and the one that struck me at the time of writing this is the Mother and autistic child that were refused a flight with Ryanair at Alicante airport. Ryanair tried to charge a £25 carry-on fee for the child’s comfort doll and all hell broke loose. You can read the story here
Jet2 came to the rescue and couldn’t do enough to help the family get home with the minimum of fuss, with a flight attendant being singled out in particular for praise in how she handled the situation.
This story went viral and global and is priceless free advertising and publicity for Jet2, whereas Ryanair were slated for how they handled it.
We only have to look at Thomas Cook and Jet2 to see how firms fail or thrive based on the promise of going the extra mile and being customer-centric (or not). Both firms are in the same industry yet are poles apart on reputation, awards, profits and a loyal customer following.
Jamie Oliver thought he could put his name to a brand to succeed, yet his chain of restaurants failed on mediocre quality of overpriced food and poor customer service.
In an era where everything is pretty much the same, the one thing that sets a firm apart is great customer service. Personally, I would never fly with Ryanair as I have heard too many bad experiences from friends and in the press, whereas I always try and fly with Jet2 because they always go the extra mile in trying to remedy any issues with no hassle and they have won awards for their customer service.
Another great example is a small chippy I found last Christmas in Benidorm called Northern Sole in the Old Town. Cazzie and Graeme opened it in July 2018 and quickly built up a loyal customer base and following based on 3 cornerstones;
- Treating their staff well
- Delivering what the customers want
- Providing exceptional customer service
I knew I had found something unique there and at the time of writing this they are rated in the top 7% of all food outlets (1,038) on TripAdvisor in Benidorm, which is quite an achievement.
Their menu is continually changing to adapt to what their customers want and they have formed a collaboration with a bar next door as it’s a small venue with limited seating space, which was a shrewd move that benefits both establishments.
Every business has to be customer-centric to succeed and mine as a writer and author is no different. I try and contact everyone that I know who has bought my consumer book to ask if they were able to resolve their dispute and for feedback. By doing this I am able to establish a relationship with my customers, find out what their stories are and assist them further if necessary.
One friend bought my book recently and whilst she couldn’t quite find what she was looking for in trying to contest a parking ticket, I was able to resolve it anyway by personally intervening and contacting the local Councillor with various legitimate points. She didn’t think she had a leg to stand on, yet I saved her £60 and she will remember me for doing that. I went the extra mile and I would have done that for anyone.
You can read how I resolved that parking ticket and appeal here
I have also helped others who have bought my book to unlock disputes just by following up on their purchase. Whilst I don’t have to, I see it as part and parcel of my work in engaging with my customers and helping them every step of the way if necessary and doing the right thing. It’s called integrity and that is something that is sorely lacking nowadays. Furthermore, my motto is to educate, inspire and inform and actions speak louder than words.
I cover various aspects and real-life scenarios involving the Consumer Rights Act 2015, Consumer Credit Act 1974, Misrepresentation Act 1967 and other legislation including the Road Traffic Act complete with templates based on real-life test cases that work in my book now on sale via Amazon as an e-book and paperback priced £2.99 / £7.99.
BBC Radio Scotland have read it and interviewed me as a consumer expert for a five-part consumer programme they have made. I have been featured in the Daily Mail as a consumer champion which you can read here
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